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Summer Blast South Island Tour

Summer Blast South Island Tour

  • Christchurch
  • Picton
  • 15 days
  • 4.8 / 5.0 (100 reviews)
  • from NZD$4,659.00

Main Highlights

  • NZ's best National Parks
  • World heritage site
  • NZ cycle trail
  • Glacier hikes
  • Queenstown
  • Fiordland
  • Milford Sound
  • Abel Tasman
  • Kayaking
  • White water rafting
  • Glowworm walks
  • Accommodation by coasts, mountains & lakes.
  • ...and many more

SUMMER BLAST SOUTH ISLAND TOUR - Overview:

DOWNLOAD PDF ITINERARY

If you want to experience NZ scenery that changes dramatically from one campsite to the next then the Summer Blast is for you. Expect the widest range of natural wonders from glaciers and mountains to beautiful beaches and dramatic Fiords. You’ll get to see an amazing range of wildlife such as dolphins, whales, penguins and seals and there will be numerous opportunities for daily hikes and biking that get you closer to nature.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE SUMMER BLAST TOUR:

We have included the following in the Summer Blast tour which we think shows off the very best of the South Island:

- Accommodation: Taking you further off the beaten tourist trail and getting you amongst NZ’s natural beauty we have carefully selected our campsites to include a mixture of wilderness bush camps and commercial camps. Included in the tour price is shared tent accommodation, two people per tent. You can upgrade to a single tent for a small additional cost.

- Food: Enjoy great food on our trips and most meals are included (our detailed itinerary outlines exactly what is included on a day-to-day basis). We can also cater for a broad range of dietary requirements.

- Wine tasting Marlborough: New Zealand's flagship wine region which, in combination with Sauvignon Blanc, put the country on the international wine stage. We think it’s worth a try which is why we’ve included a taster for you.

- Hikes: We offer a range of daily walks from 10mins to a few hours. You also have access to the Aoraki Mt Cook, Westland Tai Poutini, Paparoa, Fiordland, Mt Aspiring and Abel Tasman national parks!

- Bike Rides: For those that have hired one of our bikes, we have some great rides both on road and off road for you to enjoy.

OTHER FREE INCLUSIONS:

There is a lot you can see and do for free as Kiwis really are a generous bunch. Visit the Church of Good Shepherd in Tekapo, learn some local history at the Otago Early Settlers museum, gaze in wonder at the Punakaiki Pancake rocks and blowholes not to mention the amazing sunrises and sunsets at beautiful beachside campsites, and more.

Our activities page above gives more detail on many of the free and optional activities that you might choose to do on your Summer Blast tour and how it all works.


IMPORTANT THINGS WE WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE SUMMER BLAST TOUR:

Bush Camps:
During the Summer Blast tour we stay at 2 bush camps. Bush camps are part of our charm, especially the ones we have selected for their amazing scenery and often our bush camps are what travellers have fondest memories of. Due to their remote locations there are no cabin upgrade options and they also come with only basic toilet facilities.

Please visit our 'how it works' page for everything you need to know.

  1. Today is the first day of your tour. Arrive in Christchurch at any time today and explore the city. Wander through the laneways looking for street art, find a hidden eatery or hop on the tourist tram and see the city sights. Check in to your accommodation at the Bealey Quarter (263 Bealey Avenue) and this evening you'll meet your Guide and your group and enjoy a dinner together.

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Hagley Park Bike Ride
    • Walks and Hikes: Walk around the city of Christchurch
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours
  2. This morning, we’ll wake up after a great night’s sleep and hit the road towards arguably the most beautiful part of the South Island. We’ll take an incredibly scenic journey to the breathtaking Lake Tekapo, where you will see the most spectacular turquoise waters which get their colour from the glacial flour brought down from the rivers flowing from glaciers high up in the mountains.

    Today, go for a hike, a bike ride, or just relax at camp. If you’d like to see some if the amazing sights of Tekapo from the skies, go for an epic scenic flight this afternoon, and this evening, you can go for a soak in the nearby hot pools or enjoy some world famous star gazing at the Mt John Observatory - you are staying in an International Dark Sky Reserve, after all! 

    • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
    • Bike Rides: If you're not rafting in the morning hop on your bike and head to the Peel Forest walks. In the afternoon enjoy the trails at Lake Tekapo Regional Park then ride to camp
    • Walks and Hikes: A variety of walk options today including the protected conifers of Peel Forest and then this afternoon you'll have some time to walk along the edge an incredible glacial lake or walk to the Mt John Observatory and take in 360 degree views of Tekapo
    • Optional Activities: Tekapo Hotel Pools, Dark Sky Project - Dark Sky Experience, Virtual Stargazing Experience or Summit Experience
    • Available Upgrades: Yes - limited options
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2 hours
  3. Today you get to immerse yourself in the snow-capped mountain scenery that New Zealand is famous for. This morning we’ll explore the spectacular Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. We’ll hike to the base of NZ’s highest mountain following a trail up the Hooker valley where you’ll cross swing bridges and experience stunning views of the mountains before finishing up at a glacial lake with some awe inspiring views of the Hooker Valley glacier - trust us, you’ll want to bring your camera for this!

    Next, we’ll travel back towards the Pacific coast and make a quick stop in the historic town of Oamaru before getting to the small village of Moeraki, where we’ll camp for the night. Go for a walk this evening to a great view point offering expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and try to spot a little Blue Penguin along the shore. 

     

     

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: During the afternoon you can ride a short section of the Alps2ocean trail followed by a ride out to Katiki Point Lighthouse where you'll find a Yellow-eyed penguin colony
    • Walks and Hikes: Enjoy walking into the start of Mt Cook National Park in Hooker Valley. A three hour return hike, you’ll be blown away by the mountainous landscape not to mention a glacier during the hike.
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours
  4. If the tide is low then we can walk along the beach to the mysterious Moeraki boulders. These perfectly round spheres of rock have formed over millions of years and have found their way onto the beach near Moeraki and make for some fun photo opportunities.

    Afterwards it’s onto the historic Scottish city of Dunedin, the South Island's second-largest city. This southern city is home to the world’s steepest residential street and the coastline is home to some fantastic and rare wildlife. It’s possible to take a tour onto the Otago Peninsula to view some of this diverse wildlife which includes Albatross and Fur Seals. For the adventurous, why not try surfing at one of Dunedin’s best breaks! Our camp is a short distance from St. Kilda beach with a variety of restaurants close by to choose from.

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Ride from camp into town or out to the Otago Peninsula later in the day if you’re not doing any optional activities
    • Walks and Hikes: You’ll feel your heart pumping through your chest as you take a stroll up the world’s steepest residential street!
    • Optional Activities: Otago Peninsula Wildlife Tour, Otago Early Settlers Museum
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  5. Today is one of our longer travel days as we drive through some of New Zealand’s most dramatic natural scenery on our way to Fiordland. Make sure you have some snacks, and that all your devices are fully charged, particularly your camera! Large parts of the landscape along the drive today have been carved out over thousands of years, leaving stunning paths weaving through snow-capped mountains. Tonight’s camp is on the lakeside in Te Anau. The bikers can go for a ride on the lake to lake Te Anau trail and the rest of us can enjoy a leisurely walk along the lakefront or head up to the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary where we can see the endangered native Takahē. If you’d like to do an activity, we recommend the incredible glowworm caves tour and boat ride.

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Walks and Hikes: Short walks today as we’re on a mission to get to Fiordland National Park!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 5 hours
  6. Today we’ll travel along one of the world’s most scenic roads and into Milford Sound! Described as the 'eighth wonder of the world', Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. We highly recommend boarding a cruise, where you'll see dramatic waterfalls and snow-capped peaks and if you’re lucky, some wildlife! At different times of year, penguins, dolphins, seals and even whales have been spotted at Milford. As it’s just the one road in and out, we head back along the same breath-taking route to our lakeside camp in Te Anau. Along the way, we drop off those doing the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks. This hike is a haven for native birdlife. Charge up your camera as this hike offers everything from mountainous peaks and sheer rock faces to pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls and dense, luxuriant forest. 

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
    • Walks and Hikes: Routeburn Track (must be pre-booked and hikers will rejoin the group in Queenstown)
    • Optional Activities: Milford Sound Cruise, Te Anau glowworm caves tour & boat ride
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  7. After breakfast this morning, we’ll make our way to Queenstown, the adventure capital of NZ that sits along the shores of the photogenic Lake Wakatipu. There’s a huge selection of activities to choose from here, from an adrenaline pumping bungy, canyon swing and skydive to a relaxing steam boat cruise or gondola ride  – this place has it all. There are great tracks around the lake ideal for bikers and hikers and all with wonderful views of this alpine region. Camping isn’t feasible in this bustling alpine village, for the next two nights we stay in dorm-share accommodation in a centrally located hostel. Perfect for making the most of all Queenstown has to offer!

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Queenstown offers a variety of different trails, so head out on your bike once we arrive in town
    • Walks and Hikes: Plenty of walks we can recommend once we have arrived in Queenstown. If you’re into taking on a hill for views or leisure lakefront strolling, Queenstown won’t disappoint!
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on! You are in the adventure capital of the world!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes to a private room
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  8. With so much to do we’ll spend another full day in the fantastic Queenstown, so everyone has the opportunity to have those once in a lifetime experiences. Speaking of experiences, may we suggest trying the legendary Fergburger! For those on the Routeburn Track, you will rejoin the group here today and this evening you’ll be able to experience everything this vibrant resort town has to offer. Tonight, we dine out at one of Queenstown’s many delicious eateries - a great chance for your group to enjoy a feast at an iconic Queenstown eatery (own cost).  

     

     

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Awesome bike options to choose from! Cycle past jaw dropping landscapes, vineyards, great cafes and more!
    • Walks and Hikes: Plenty of mountains you can hike to enjoy inspirational views of Lake Wakatipu and the alpine surrounds!
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on! You are in the adventure capital of the world!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: No Driving today
  9. This is our final morning in Queenstown and your last chance to indulge in one more activity before we wave farewell to those finishing their tour and welcome new travellers joining us here. Leaving at 2:30pm, after the thrills and spills of Queenstown we’ll travel past mountains and on towards stunning glacial lakes and calmer shores. 

    On the final stretch to camp we’ll get views of Mt Aspiring National Park in the distance. Lake Wanaka is just over the next ridge and it’s on the edge of this glacial lake that we find our next wilderness camp. Enjoy great views of Lake Wanaka and the mountains beyond as we absorb the beauty of the area. 

     

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Hawea River Track (12 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: Lakefront walks or other walks you may have missed yesterday when doing activities.
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on!
    • Available Upgrades: No - beautiful lakeside camp with National park views
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  10. We’ll enjoy a relaxed morning at our lakeside camp and then we’re continuing north through Mt Aspiring National Park. Just before we reach the West Coast, we’ll stop for a walk to the amazing Blue Pools, before heading through the dramatic Haast Pass, on roads woven over braided rivers and huge glacier carved valleys. There are two more great walk options along the way, one through lush and ancient forests and the other through swampy vegetation, ending on the beach where it’s possible to spot Hector dolphins. Tonight, we’ll stay beside the beautiful Lake Paringa, enjoying a true West Coast wilderness experience.  

     

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Later in the day you have an option of a long ride into camp from Knights Point lookout to Lake Paringa
    • Walks and Hikes: There are quite a number of short walks today as we make frequent stops on this epic journey to the West Coast
    • Available Upgrades: Yes limited options
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  11. Today is your chance to explore one of NZ’s most unique and spectacular natural wonders – the Franz Josef Glacier.  This staggeringly beautiful work of nature descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres above sea level. To get on the ice you must go up by helicopter but it’s possible to view the glacier via a stunning walk through the main valley. We also recommend taking a walk to Peter’s Pool for another incredibly scenic view.

    Before arriving at Franz Josef, we’ll take a highly recommended walk around Lake Matheson where crystal clear reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman make the perfect photo opportunity. Late afternoon, we have a short drive up the coast to our beautiful beachside campsite next to the Okarito lagoon – one of the very few places where there are still rare sightings of our native kiwi bird and the home to NZ’s only colony of the White Heron (kotuku). Enjoy a fire down on the beach taking in the rugged coast and epic mountain views.    

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Te Ara a Waiau cycleway, Okarito road ride (10 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: A highly recommended walk around Lake Matheson in the morning
    • Optional Activities: Guided Heli-Hike, guided kayak or SUP tour, West Coast Wildlife Centre, skydiving
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  12. Enjoy an early morning walk, with a view of the sunrise over the Southern Alps as a reward before we board the bus and continue up this spectacular coastal road to the quirky town of Hokitika, home of the Greenstone and a great place to pick up a traditional souvenir. Passing through Greymouth we’ll keep following the coast to Punakaiki where you’ll notice a change in the landscape as huge limestone cliffs appear and Nikau Palm trees become abundant. Our beach camp for tonight offers great sunsets, a beautiful river and incredible views of Paparoa National Park. The pancake rocks and blowholes are the main attraction in Punakaiki where limestone rocks are stacked on top of each other and ocean swells are forced through gaps in the rock creating a whale’s blowhole effect. This evening, explore a cavern with some glow worms hanging out in the dark and then enjoy a beverage at the local tavern.  

     

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: West Coast Wilderness Trail (14 km), Bullock Creek trail (15 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: Once we reach Punakaiki there are a number of different trails you can explore to get the best out of our visit to Paparoa National Park
    • Optional Activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks & blow holes (free)
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours
  13. Before leaving Punakaiki we’ll take some time to explore part of the Paparoa National Park, walking along the Pororari river or cycling up Bullock creek road to visit a cave resurgence. Leaving mid-morning we’ll travel inland through the majestic Buller gorge and onto the famous Abel Tasman National Park. Situated in one of the sunniest areas of the country and home to heaps of beautiful secluded bays and stunning golden sand beaches. We look forward to spending 2 nights at our perfectly located camp, close to the park entrance which makes it the ideal place to explore all corners of the stunning Abel Tasman. 

     

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Coastal ride to camp and Kaiteriteri bike park, Great Taste Trail
    • Walks and Hikes: Truman track
    • Optional Activities: Skydiving
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: approx. 5 hours
  14. Take time today to explore arguably the best beaches and clearest waters in New Zealand - there are excellent options for everyone here. You can walk, sail or kayak around the numerous golden bays and dive into the crystal-clear waters along the way. There will be plenty of chances for wildlife spotting (dolphins, seals and even Orcas!) and for those seeking a thrill, join the one in a lifetime canyoning experience!

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park
    • Walks and Hikes: Exploring the Abel Tasman National Park
    • Optional Activities: Kayaking, canyoning, sailing, water taxi / walk
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: No driving today
  15. Today is the final day of your tour. First, we head to sunny Nelson, one of the sunniest areas of NZ and home to more than 350 working artists and craftspeople creating traditional, contemporary and Maori arts. Relax and enjoy the sunshine and café culture before we depart for wine country – Marlborough, home to some of the World’s best known grapes and where we’ll treat you to a free tasting in one of their best vineyards before your tour finishes in Picton.

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: 14-16km off road and road cycling
    • Walks and Hikes: Walk to the geographical centre of New Zealand
    • Available Upgrades: n/a
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours

TOUR PRICES:

Tour price 

$4659

Bike hire

$360

Single tent upgrade

$185

Bring your own bike

$150

Sleeping bag hire

$85

 

2023/24 DEPARTURES:

MONTH

DEPART CHRISTCHURCH

JANUARY

22ND - FULLY BOOKED

FEBRUARY

7TH - FULLY BOOKED

23RD

MARCH

10TH, 26TH

APRIL

11TH

 

2024/25 TOUR PRICES

TOUR PRICE FROM OCTOBER 2024 $5125
BIKE HIRE $470
SINGLE TENT UPGRADE $185
SLEEPING BAG HIRE $85

 

2024/25 DEPARTURES

MONTH DEPARTURE DATE
OCTOBER 24TH
NOVEMBER 7TH, 21ST
DECEMBER 5TH
JANUARY 23RD
FEBRUARY 6TH, 20TH
MARCH 6TH, 20TH
APRIL 3RD
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Trip Reviews

  • I feel really bad as I went on this trip a few years ago however, since the pandemic, I've seen images of NZ and it reminded me of my amazing experience. I really can't praise Flying Kiwi highly enough. Everyone from the staff who helped me with my online booking to everyone throughout the 3 week trip. You really feel like a family, everyone is so nice and welcoming. I have too many highlights to mention. NZ is one of the most breathtaking places I've ever visited. When we are past the Covid-19 pandemic please book a place and go. You won't regret it.

    , travelled Summer Blast South Island Tour on 01/10/2018

  • Easily the best trip I've been on. Not just for the itinerary but also the company I had going on this trip.

    , travelled Summer Blast South Island Tour on 01/04/2019

  • Im leaving the South Island trip wishing Id done the North Island too. I couldn't have asked for more from this holiday and would definitely recommend it to friends.

    , travelled Summer Blast South Island Tour on 01/02/2019

  • I loved it. Loved being outside and I felt at home so quickly, the group feeling was amazing, people were so like minded and the age difference didn't matter at all. Going with you was one of the best decisions I ever made. Thank you, had the best experience.

    , travelled Summer Blast South Island Tour on 01/01/2019

  • Overall, the trip was absolutely fantastic and far exceeded my brilliant expectations. Being in the outdoors for 2 full weeks was amazing. Great guides, great locations and great fellow passengers put the cheery on top!

    , travelled Summer Blast South Island Tour on 01/01/2019

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